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FGCU grad shares how he became a fitness guru

 Stephen Campolo after his transformation.
@StephenCampolo Instagram
Stephen Campolo after his transformation.

Stephen Campolo lives in Naples and graduated from FGCU in 2010. After losing 100 lbs at a young age, he started FLX Body Fitness. When he was younger, kids in school bullied him for his weight. But it was a doctor’s visit that motivated him to make a change at 14.

"I went to the doctor just for like an annual checkup and the doctor turned to my dad it's like you know your son is like clinically obese like his health markers are off the charts he's pre-diabetic," he said.

He had always dreamed of being big and strong, but never thought it was possible at his weight.

"My dad would take me and my brother to go watch like a WWF," he said. "And then I realized, like, you know what, maybe I can be like, you know, be the macho guy, or at least, you know, try to like take a step towards it. So, once I started seeing my body change and like losing weight and gaining muscle, like I realized, like, Oh crap, like, I have the power to actually, like physically change and I think when someone like realizes that it's like a really empowering thing."

Stephen Campolo became popular for his vulnerability online. He wanted to share the imperfect parts of his story so people could relate better.

"I just didn't understand how people could could relate to someone that's like, just always been in shape their whole life, right?" he asked. "Because that wasn't my story. Like I was a fat kid turned you know, turned into this fitness guy. kind of happened by accident. So, it's been really powerful to to just start like sharing my story online. I've tried every diet I've tried every training program, I used to compete in Cross Fit. I think I have a really like good depth of knowledge to offer people and I can kind of cut through the BS and share like what works and what doesn't work right."

What he likes the most about his job now is helping to change the lives of others.

"Losing my mom was a big part of it because you know she died at 52 years old like super young right so I'm like you know what, if I could help a dad or a mom out there like lose some weight and they can live a little bit longer and be around longer for their kids like then it was all worth it," he said.